Saturday, December 18, 2010
Liz was offered and accepted a position with another organization that will be an excellent career move for her. While we search for a replacement, and with the pending holidays, there will be fewer posts for a few weeks. I want to take this opportunity to thank our loyal readers and welcome readers new to the blog.
There are many things happening in this space and with this change in staffing we are looking at a number of opportunities and ways to increase the value of this blog in the year ahead. While postings may be sparse for the next two weeks, we plan to get back up to regular posting speed after the new year. Best wishes to all for the holidays.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Gartner says that e-readers will need to maintain a price advantage because few consumers are likely to buy both an e-reader and a tablet.
Monday, December 13, 2010
More information about the pilots can be found here.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The registration page for the webinar can be found here.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
The audio of the discussion is available here.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The survey also found that over three-quarters of academic leaders at public institutions, 55.4 percent of private nonprofits, and 67 percent of for-profits believe that online learning is as good as or better than face-to-face instruction.
For more information, the full report can be found here.
Monday, December 6, 2010
In addition, Google has partnered with some independent bookstores to allow them to sell e-books on their websites and share the revenue. Google also plans to add social networking features and says it has the infrastructure in place to let consumers purchase digital and paper copies in a bundle.
James Crawford, an engineer for Google eBooks, noted, “The idea is that you buy where you are and read on devices you already own. We are committed to open structure, and building up a wider and wider retailer network.”
The Google ebookstore can be found here.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
The survey also found that 26 percent of adult book buyers already read digital books and an additional 34 percent of book buyers are willing to try digital books. This means that up to 60 percent of all adult book readers could choose to read in digital format. Another 14 percent of adult book buyers said that they would never read a book in digital format.
To read more about the survey, you can view the article here.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Jeanie Bunker, general manager of Alibris Retail, commented, “We know our student buyers often check textbook prices from multiple sources before they buy, so having a mobile site is the best way for them to shop on the go.”
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The project began in 2005 and has evolved into an intuitive reference website that features an interactive timeline with images that link to videos. The site also includes links, maps, and photos to engage the users. According to the article, the project has been winning honors and more than 70 universities and colleges either use or recommend Smarthistory. A listing of the institutions can be found here.
In the future, similar websites for other disciplines could be modeled after this idea.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In an article from The New York Times, Peter Hildick-Smith, president of the Codex Group, says, “This is the tipping-point season for e-readers, there’s no question. A lot more books are going to be sold in e-book format. It also means that a lot fewer people are going to be shopping in bookstores.”
Forrester Research predicts that about nine million e-readers are currently in circulation in the United States and this could increase to 10.3 million after the holidays.
As mentioned previously, according to a survey by the Consumer Electronics Association, e-readers rank fifth on the holiday wish lists of adults.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The article notes that there are studies in progress to determine how effective the iPad is for people with disabilities. In the months since the iPad has been on the market, it has already become a popular device for assisting the disabled but the usefulness of the device depends on the specific disability. In the coming months, we can expect that additional apps will be created and added to the app store to assist disabled users.
Monday, November 22, 2010
As mentioned previously, NookStudy is a free application that can be downloaded to PC’s and Mac’s. It enables students to download e-books and e-textbooks, take notes, tag content, search through both the textbook and annotations, and manage all of their digital content.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle, noted, "We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift. We're making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone - not just Kindle owners."
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Along with these benefits, there are additional capabilities that could be added to e-readers to make the devices more powerful. David H. Rose, the founder and chief education officer for the Center for Applied Special Technology, says, for now it is imperative to bring together the manufacturers of e-readers, as well as educators, policymakers, and experts in educational technology, to determine what features e-readers could and should include.
Lotta Larson, an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at Kansas State University, pointed out that professional development will also be required. "I don't think the e-reader in itself is going to make a difference, but if it's used with effective instruction, then it can make a huge difference.”
As the devices evolve and more experiments are implemented, we can expect that additional research will be conducted to determine if e-readers can improve reading skills and assist those with reading disabilities.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
You can view the website here.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
In a press release from Wiley, William J. Pesce, President and CEO, commented, “In all of our businesses, we are experiencing growth in sales of digital content. We recently added Google to the extensive list of eBook channel partners. Margins in our Higher Education business continue to improve with the growth of WileyPLUS, digital content sales to institutions, customized offerings, and low-cost print products.”
For the Higher Education business, revenue from e-books, digital content sold directly to institutions, binder editions, and custom publishing grew by 33% and represented 21% of the global Higher Education business during the quarter. In addition, Wiley’s e-book sales doubled for the quarter and nearly doubled over the prior year.
In a press release from McGraw-Hill, it says that one of the contributors to a strong third quarter performance was the “double-digit increases in the sales of digital products and services in higher education and professional markets.” In addition, the number of registrations for McGraw-Hill Connect and other online homework management, assessment, and tutoring products grew to 1.9 million which is a 26% increase over the same period last year.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
The study produced many interesting findings. In regards to e-book purchases, 13 percent of college students said that they purchased an e-book within the past three months. Of the 13 percent, 56 percent said that the primary reason for their purchase was that it was a required course material for class.
In regards to devices, eight percent of college students currently own an e-reader or an Apple iPad. Of the 92 percent that do not own a device, five percent plan to make a purchase in the near future and another 36 percent are unsure if they will buy one. The primary reason that 42 percent of students gave for not wanting to purchase a device was that they prefer print books. An additional one-third of the students said that they were not sure how an e-reader device would benefit them and 18 percent said that the device was too expensive or they were waiting for prices to drop.
These stats show that interest in e-books and e-readers is growing but the majority of students still prefer print or do not yet see the need for a device. This is likely to change as the technology progresses, the prices for e-readers come down, and the benefits are realized. In addition, the students in college today tend to have a lower preference for digital than the students a few years younger. As these students enter college in the next few years, we will likely see a significant change in preferences.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
As mentioned in a previous posting, this semester Hewlett Packard (HP) is conducting print-on-demand (POD) pilots at three universities: Portland State University, The University of Kansas, and Arizona State University. Below you can find a list of links to articles and videos that provide more information about each of the pilots.
Portland State University:
- An article from OregonLive.com discusses the pilot and says that the university has also partnered with Lulu self-publishing service. The partnership with Lulu allows authors to format their books online and then print the books at the PSU Bookstore.
- The PSU Bookstore has created a video with more information and a demo of the technology.
- Here is a link to a news story and video from Fox12 Oregon.
- Here is a video that features Glen Hopkins, vice president of Hewlett Packard, discussing how the technology is changing the publishing industry.
- Here is an article from the Portland Business Journal with more information about the pilot.
The University of Kansas
- Here are some links to articles from Kansan.com and The Oread KU Employee Newsletter that discuss the pilot at KU.
- Here is a video demo of the technology at KU’s bookstore.
Arizona State University
- An article from ASU News features information about the pilot at ASU.
- Here is a video demo of the technology at the ASU Bookstore. This posting also includes the goals of the pilot and information about their partnership with Lulu.
- Another video featured on ASU’s The State Press discusses the capabilities of the technology.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
It is important to note that the screen will feature muted colors and not vibrant colors like a LCD screen. Color E Ink is created by placing a color filter over the black and white display. Like the black and white version, color E Ink will not be able to handle full-motion video because of the slow refresh rate. However, the device will still include a long battery life and the ability to read in the bright sunlight.
According to an article in The New York Times, Amazon and Sony plan to wait until the color E Ink technology matures before adding it to their devices. Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading business division, noted, “On a list of things that people want in e-readers, color always comes up. There’s no question that color is extremely logical. But it has to be vibrant color. We’re not willing to give up the true black-and-white reading experience.”
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
A posting on the All Things Digital website says that company will work with some college bookstores and the device will be aimed at 10 college campuses initially. This semester beta testing occurred at several campuses and Cengage Learning, McGraw Hill, Pearson, and Wiley provided select digital resources for the testing. The Kno website includes videos of a few students describing their experiences with the device and the company says that the student responses have been “overwhelmingly positive for both the single and dual screen devices.”
Students will be able to purchase textbooks through the Kno bookstore that will be accessible on the tablet. The store includes thousands of titles and the list can be viewed on Kno’s website. Currently the device has built in apps for reading, taking notes, and the web but additional apps are in development. A page on Kno’s website invites developers to help them design their development platform and build their app store. Apps for collaboration, specific subjects, educational games, and productivity tools will be available.
In addition, according to the New York Times, Kno plans to make its software available for laptops and potentially other tablets in the future.
These developments will certainly be ones to watch in the month’s ahead.
Monday, November 8, 2010
In terms of profit, the study found that digital could represent 20-28% of book industry profits. However, this will be dependent on innovation of the content and operating methods. The study noted, “Experimenting with new formats - non-linear, hybrid, interactive or social - is where opportunity lies.”
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
For more information, the full post can be found here.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
According to the report, student access to mobile devices has more than tripled in the past few years. In 2006, 9 percent of high school students said that they owned a smartphone with internet access and now 31 percent say that they do. In addition, 24 percent of 6-8th graders say that they own smartphones. This increase in smartphone ownership has led to a change in student opinion about the primary barrier to using technology at school. In the 2008 study, the majority of students said that their school’s internet filters were the primary barrier to using technology but now 78 percent of 6-12th graders with smartphones say that the biggest barrier is the policies that prevent them from using their own devices. In addition, when students were asked how schools could make it easier for them to do their school work, 64 percent of high school students and 60 percent of middle school students said that they want to use their own devices.
When students were asked to design their “ultimate school,” 56 percent of middle and high school students said “mobile computers for every student” (examples include: laptops, mini-notebooks, or tablet PC’s). In addition, 52 percent of middle and high school students said that mobile devices would have the greatest positive impact on learning. More surprisingly, 52 percent of students in kindergarten through second grade said that their “ultimate school” would include laptops for every student.
The study also found that 62 percent of parents said that if their child’s school allowed mobile devices to be used for educational purposes, they would likely purchase a device for their child.
For more information, you can download the full report here.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, magazine and newspaper subscriptions with color photos will be available on the device. In addition, according to a posting on the Bits Blog, B&N has also introduced a new feature called Nook Friends that will allow readers to share content and notes with friends via social networks.
It will be interesting to see how this new type of device does this holiday season. B&N is expected to begin shipping the devices on November 19th.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
While the blog highlights many of the digital happenings affecting our industry, there is often more going on than we have a chance to cover. Here are some links to interesting articles from the past few days.
- Apple sold 4.19 million iPads last quarter bringing its total sales to almost 7.5 million since April. Interestingly, the iPad sales last quarter were greater than the sales for the entire line of Macintosh computers which also hit a record high at nearly 3.9 million units. Some analysts are now predicting that Apple will sell up to 40 million iPads next year.
- According to an article from Adage, Apple has also expanded distribution for the iPad to retailers such as Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Best Buy. Previously, the iPad was available at 300 Apple stores and now it will be available at 8,000 stores across the country.
- A recent survey of students by the Associated Press and mtvU found that 57 percent of students said that life without computers and cell phones would be stressful but 25 percent said it would be a relief.
- An article from The New York Times says that Sharp is scaling back its laptop operations to focus on tablets. Sharp plans to launch 5.5-inch and 10-inch screen Android tablets in December. In addition, Sharp will launch an e-book store that will give users access to 30,000 e-books, newspapers, and magazines. A second article from MacWorld provides more information about the tablets.
- According to a TechCrunch article, Amazon says that it continues to sell more Kindle books than print books. Amazon says that it has sold more than three times as many Kindle books from January to September of this year than it did for the same nine months of 2009. Amazon also says that sales for its latest Kindle device have already surpassed total Kindle device sales from the holiday season last year (October through December 2009).
- A recent article from Publishers Weekly discusses the challenges associated with formatting e-books.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Amazon also announced that it will make Kindle newspapers and magazines available for reading on the Kindle apps. This functionality will be available for Apple devices initially and for Android devices or other apps in the future. This functionality may encourage users to stay within the Kindle app for all of their reading on various devices.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Here is a link to a video demo with additional information.
Friday, October 22, 2010
In an email about the webinar, Steven Keith Platt, PRI Director and Research Fellow, noted, "Our research study found that 97 percent of students prefer to receive information via digital channels, rather than from non-digital sources. Overall, text messages were found to be the most effective distribution channel, followed closely by digital signage."
For those interested in attending, you can sign up here.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Neil Patterson, director of Life on Earth, commented on the effort to revolutionize science education. Patterson noted, “Motion and film are powerful ways of teaching. We’re trying to exploit the human brain, like videogames do, and it’s not a small matter to use technology now available to us.”
The digital book will contain 59 chapters and will be extremely expensive to create so university level editions will be sold for about 10 percent of the cost of an average print textbook. The foundation will also need donations to support the effort.
The Wired article also includes a couple of videos that are worth watching. The first video is a demonstration of the first chapter of Life on Earth and the second video provides more information about the initiative.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
In regards to texting, teens between the ages of 13-17 far surpass every other age group. Teens send an average of 3,339 texts a month or about six texts for every hour that they are awake. Young adults between the ages of 18-24 come in second at about 1,630 texts per month or about three texts per hour. For both age groups, voice activity has decreased since last year.
According to the report, these age groups are now relying on their phones for many tasks in addition to texting including: the Internet, e-mail, multimedia, games, and apps. Since the second quarter of 2009, data usage among teens (ages 3-17) has quadrupled and among young adults (18-24) it has tripled.
The increased reliance on mobile devices among these age groups presents many opportunities for the mobile industry in the future.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
- 85% of all Americans and 96% of 18-29 year olds own a cell phone
- 52% of all Americans and 72% of 18-19 year olds own a laptop computer
- 47% of all Americans and 75% of 18-29 year olds own an mp3 player
- 42% of all Americans and 62% of 18-29 year olds own a home gaming system
In regards to e-readers and tablets, 5% of all Americans own and e-book reader and 4% own a tablet computer. The report notes that these devices are new but they are proving to be popular with early adopters. The ownership rates of these devices among college graduates and the affluent are roughly double the national average.
The full report is available here
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
A recent article from AZCentral.com discusses the pilot at ASU. McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, and Cengage Learning have all made a limited number of titles available for the pilot. Some professors who own the rights to their books have also made the titles available for printing. As a result of the pilot, the textbook prices for several courses have reduced. Dennis Mekelburg, associate director of ASU Bookstore, estimates that students could save about a half-million dollars each semester if five percent of ASU classes switch to print-on-demand.
In another article Estella McCollum, director of the KU Bookstore, commented on the pilot at KU. She noted, “With this, we’re essentially never out of stock on the printable titles. We just have a more efficient option for purchasing.” The KU Bookstore hopes to expand the print options next semester to include: student projects, books, portfolios, cookbooks, and other projects.
An article about the pilot at Portland State University points out that the program is good for students, the store, and the earth because it reduces prices for students, keeps sales at the store, and reduces wasteful printing and transportation. The store hopes to get more publishers on board by next semester so that they can increase the amount of content that can be printed.
More information about these pilots will be available prior to CAMEX in February 2011.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Some of the Student PIRG data that contributed to this conclusion matches data from the NACS Student Watch study however, there are some differences. For example, in regards to student preferences, the Student PIRGs data shows that 75 percent of students prefer print while 25 percent prefer digital. The NACS study found a similar statistic but when students were subsequently asked the primary reason for purchasing print over digital only 42 percent indicated that their preference for print was the primary reason for their purchase choice. The next two reasons were: lack of inventory (19 percent) and that the professor used the print copy (13 percent). This shows that while a majority of students may prefer print to digital, that preference is decreasing in its relevance as a reason not to purchase digital -- suggesting that the preference for print over digital may be lessening in significance. If the content is available and if the faculty chooses digital more students may be ready to switch. Preference for print may have been definitive before but it is more marginal now.
The Student PIRGs report also estimates that students would spend an average of 80 percent less on textbooks each year if they moved to all open textbooks. This compares to 61 percent less for rentals, 52 percent less for e-textbooks, and 39 percent less for e-reader textbooks. While open textbooks may be more affordable now, the model may not be sustainable over the long term. As more faculty adopt open course materials, it may have an impact on overall educational affordability because revenue that goes to support financial aid, tuition sustainability, and other institutional expenses will be lost. This is not an argument against seeking lower cost course materials. Rather, it is an argument that open source still presents enough shortcomings that it is not yet a panacea for the textbook affordability problem.
While open textbooks will certainly play a part in the future, the associated limitations need to be worked out before they can be widely adopted. College Stores should be thinking about ways to incorporate open textbooks into their offerings. College Stores have an opportunity to provide access to the digital versions and offer printed versions through print-on-demand so that the store remains the primary source for student content needs, regardless of format or source.